There’s kind of this dance that I’ve felt like I’ve been doing these past couple of years trying to “figure out who I am.” Yes, I know I’m a daughter of the King and loved and so on and so forth, but I also know that God gifted us with individual and unique talents.
He gifted us all with different personalities, quirks, characteristics that make us unique, but I’ve also been playing a game of tug of war to see which of my traits come from the Lord and which come from the world.
Are my desires aligned with the Lord? Am I doing things out of a selfish or selfless place? Am I walking in obedience or in accordance to myself?
I’ve tossed these questions around in my head trying to discern what the answers are, but this week the Lord revealed to me something I had never understood.
This verse is one I’ve heard over and over: Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9:23
We’ve all probably heard that. When I’ve heard that before I’ve just really focused on the last part of taking up my cross and following Jesus, but this week at my community group we talked about this verse and it was brought to my attention the importance in denying yourself.
To me, that’s always meant that I just need to deny what’s bad in myself. Never thought that much about it. But this week, I learned that to deny yourself means to disown yourself.
In Self to Lose, Self to Find it says “This invitation is less about depriving the self and more about disowning or renouncing the relationship with the part of our self that is not what God created us to be.”
We have to disown the person that God didn’t create. The person that the world has molded is not who God intended us to be rather He wants us to shed who we thought we are and step into the freedom and gift that God gave us to be who we are in Him.
My community group at church is going through a study on the enneagram and if you haven’t read up on it I encourage you to do so. It has radically transformed my relationship with others, myself, and with the Lord because it has given me such a deeper understanding into myself and those around me.
Anyway, this week our group broke off into smaller groups and we sat with those that have the same enneagram number as us. We talked about things we’ve struggled with which was really fascinating because as eights our struggle tends to be vulnerability.
We talked about how people sometimes will say that we’re too much or too intense and how that makes us want to suppress our personality because we don’t want to overwhelm others.
Some of us will wear ourselves out trying to change ourselves before we realize it is not about fixing; it is about letting go — letting go of old patterns that no longer serve us… All we stand to lose is the false self — the adaptive behaviors that are ultimately in opposition to the life of love and trust and being led by God that are hearts long for. – Ruth Haley Barton
I love this quote. It has spoken so much truth into my life this week. While we all are broken and sinful, we are all created with remarkable gifts and personalities that should never be altered.
There are parts of ourselves that need to be let go of that are not from God and do not bring Him glory, but there’s a difference in letting go of the parts that weren’t created by God and then the parts that were.
This morning I was reading Psalm 51 and it was a really sweet reminder that while I can constantly be working to look more and more like Jesus there’s nothing I can do to separate myself from the love of God. I will forever be His daughter. I have nothing to offer Him but my brokenness which is more than enough to Him.
My acknowledgment of my broken spirit is exactly what He wants.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. – Psalm 51:15-17
Disown the part of yourself that God didn’t create you to be and dance in the freedom Jesus’s sacrifice. You are more than enough for Him.